The sun was shining in Delhi, India, on what will hopefully be remembered as a pivotal day in women’s football across Asia. FIFA and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) opened the Women’s Football Regional Development Seminar and India Development Workshop to discuss the long-term plan, structure and format for developing women’s football in the region.
The three-day seminar includes around 100 participants from eleven South Asian nations including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and 41 International delegates from many South Asian countries.
Moya Dodd, FIFA Executive Member and AFC Vice President, opened the event with insights into the global status of women’s football. “Women’s football is seen as the growth engine of the game,” she said. “It offers a great opportunity to innovate and differentiate yourself as a leader.”
Delegates will participate in working sessions to share knowledge about the standards and status of women’s football in their countries while generating ideas and providing solutions for day-to-day challenges. FIFA Instructors Heike Ullrich (Germany), Hesterine de Reus (Netherlands), Monika Staab (Germany) and Amanda Vandervort (USA) assembled to discuss best practices in development, marketing and communications and share case studies from around the world.
Mayrilian Cruz Blanco, FIFA Women’s Football Development Senior Manager, said, “Women’s football is a great tool to implement projects and develop society. We must collectively create the opportunity for all women and girls to play the game.”
Following the event, the seminar's participants will return to their countries armed with the tools, information and insights to build strategic plans for the development of women’s football. The AIFF in particular will seek to develop a strategy for grassroots and youth football development for women and girls in India, including the potential for a women’s football league.